Mental Slavery

Defaming Prophet Muhammed not free expression: ECHR:

Defaming the Prophet Muhammed “goes beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate” and “could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace” and thus exceeds the permissible limits of freedom of expression, ruled the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday, upholding a lower court decision. …

According to a statement released by the court on Thursday, the Vienna Regional Criminal Court found that these statements implied that Muhammad had pedophilic tendencies, and in February 2011 convicted Mrs. S. for disparaging religious doctrines.

A free man may speak his conscience, at least on his own time. A slave may not.

I have never (that I recall) said anything negative (or positive) about Muhammad. He’s long dead, and I haven’t particularly studied Islam. But it remains a fact agreed upon in Islamic sources that 53-year old Mohammad married his third wife, Aisha, when she was six years old and consummated the marriage well before the legal age of consent in Western countries (most sources say 9 or 10 years old). Aisha herself became an important figure in Islam following Mohammad’s death, and is credited with having narrated 2,210 hadiths on subjects such as inheritance and Mohammad’s personal life–making her, it appears, something of an Islamic legal scholar.

Of course, it was not terribly unusual for girls to be married off at very young ages in the past–the Virgin Mary herself was probably only about 12-14 when she was betrothed, and child marriage is still quite common in much of the Middle East.

Regardless, 1. modern Christians don’t think it’s a good idea to imitate Joseph and marry a 12 year old, and 2. if you tried to pull something like this in the modern US, you would absolutely be branded a “pedophile” and sent to prison.

Note: The European Court of “Human Rights” is merely upholding a ruling under Austrian law–blame should probably laid first at Austria’s feet for convicting this woman in the first place. It has banned not just freedom of speech and conscience, but facts–simply because they are embarrassing.

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3 thoughts on “Mental Slavery

  1. Correcting a very common misunderstanding that you have probably inadvertently perpetuated:

    Mary was a consecrated virgin. Her parents Anne and Joachim consecrated her to God at her birth.

    There was never any expectation that she would consummate her marriage to Joseph, a much older widower.
    There being no such thing as a nunnery in ancient Judea, and given the practices of Temple worship (a menstruating woman had to keep herself apart during
    her period), a woman (legally incapable of working or owning much property on her own) who was consecrated to a life of prayer, service, and perpetual virginity would typically join the household of an older man who already had plenty of children to be his heirs but who had lost his wife. The idea was always that she would care for his household but that they would not share a bed. This “Josephite” form of marriage existed long before Joseph and Mary.

    This is why Joseph fearfully suggests sending Mary away when he finds her pregnant. Had theirs been a normal betrothal of that time he would have been within his rights to simply call off the marriage. There would have been no loss of status for him. But because she was a consecrated virgin and their betrothal included a vow by him to look after her, he was justifiably afraid that the Temple authorities would assume he had defiled a consecrated virgin…and would impose on him serious punishment.

    So. The fact that Mary was betrothed towards a Josephite marriage at her age of menarche has nothing to do with normal marriage custom in ancient Judea. Marriage of sexually mature women in their early teens would have been common, but that doesn’t really have any bearing on why Mary was betrothed to Joseph.

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